Construction and application of conceptual framework as research tool a researcher’s reflections

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Construction and application of conceptual framework as research tool a researcher’s reflections

  1. 1. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 30 Construction and Application of Conceptual Framework as Research Tool: A Researcher’s Reflections Nana Yaw Oppong School of Business, University of Cape Coast, University Post Office, Cape Coast, Ghana nyoppong@ymail.com Abstract The importance of any study is demonstrated through the linkages made between research questions and larger theoretical concepts or policy, demonstrating how the particulars of the study serve to illuminate larger issues and, therefore, portraying the significance of the study. This theoretical concept or conceptual framework has the functions of building a foundation of the research; demonstrating how study advances knowledge; conceptualising the study; assessing the research design and instrumentation; and providing reference point for interpretation the findings. This paper outlines the author’s reflections on the building and application of a conceptual framework as a research tool. Author’s aim is to share his experience with researchers, especially students, who may be required to apply the tool but may find difficulty developing one. Using author’s own (PhD) research topic, the paper firstly discusses the various stages that input to construct the framework and, secondly, considers how the choice of research methodology, data collection and analysis techniques are informed by the framework. Key lesson is that a well-constructed conceptual framework has the potential of informing the choice of appropriate research methodology that in turn influences the data collection and analysis techniques, and even the research findings. This paper is expected to be of value to anyone seeking to better understand conceptual framework as a research tool, especially ‘young’ researchers who may be required to develop and apply one but may find it difficult doing so. Key Words: Conceptual framework; literature review; methodology; data collection method; data analysis method 1. Introduction To help readers follow the construction and application of conceptual framework, the paper is organised into two broad parts – towards construction of the framework, and application of the framework. The first part introduces the research topic and background to it; the research objectives and questions which inform the literature review because the review headings are the research questions (at this stage the same as the research objectives). Major themes from the review are further discussed to clarify the research problem and determine how the research should proceed. The framework, after its construction, informs the rest of the research instruments. Although it does not actually inputs into building the framework, the paper opens with the background to the study and problem statement of the author’s (PhD) research which forms the basis of this paper. This, the author contemplates, will help readers follow the conceptual framework building and application process. 2. Background to the Study and Problem Statement In the early 1980s, much of the developing world found itself grappling with growing economic crises and huge foreign debts, with few resources available to arrest the situation (Paczynska, 2006). Many countries that found themselves in such situation were forced to turn to international communities for assistance, which was given if countries were willing to implement far-reaching reforms. World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), described by Ismi (2004) as the two most powerful institutions in global trade and finance, offered steady financial support to countries that were ready to implement the World Bank/IMF’s structural adjustment programme (SAP) in exchange for government undertakings to implement agreed economic policies (Mainsah and Ikezi, 2004; McGregor, 2005). These policies required that governments cut public spending; raised interest rates (to reduce access to credit); privatised state enterprises; increased exports; and to reduce barriers to trade and foreign investments (Ismi, 2004). As Ghana found itself in a similar precarious economic situation in the
  2. 2. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 31 late 1970s and early 1980s the country was forced, in April 1983, to embrace the SAP which was relabelled in Ghana as Economic Recovery Programme (ERP). Research studies on the World Bank/IMF structural adjustment programme, and especially those that focus on mining sectors rarely assess talent development and how the global issue of SAP is impacting on this important contemporary HR issue (Brewster et al., 2003). Although some initiatives have been taken by some companies to enhance their role to the communities affected by mining activities (Akabzaa & Darimani, 2001; Ayine, 2002; Agbesinyale, 2008), these are mostly social/environmental to gain ‘social licence’ but less is done in the domain of human resource development (HRD). The paper therefore investigated how the multinational companies operating in the gold mining industry of Ghana contributed to human resource development in Ghana. The gold mining industry offered a good setting for exploring the issue as it had received over 56% of the total FDI inflows into Ghana (Eshun and Jellicoe, 2011). Focus of the study was on development of national managers as a firm’s success in developing and sustaining competitive advantage partly depends on its ability to acquire, develop and retain managerial expertise (Amankwah-Amoah & Debrah, 2011). Development of talent of national managers is regarded essential for the future of the industry as available statistics shows more than 55% (reaching 70% in some companies) of expatriates in management positions in the Ghanaian gold mining industry (Eshun & Jellicoe, 2011) and the common reason assigned to this is experience and expertise of expatriates who could drive efficiency in industry. 3. Aim and Objectives of the Research The aim of the research was to investigate how the MNCs operating in the gold mining industry of Ghana, considering their HR policies and practices could enhance the development of local managerial talent in the industry. The research therefore involved the consideration of the following main question. • How do MNCs in the Ghanaian gold mining industry impact on development of national managerial talent in the industry? To answer this question effectively for research outcome that could justify contribution to knowledge, the following subsidiary questions that provided historical and environmental contexts to the study were posed and answered: • How has the SAP policy, and especially on privatisation of state-owned enterprises impacted on countries that have implemented the policy? • How do HRM policies and practices of Western MNCs impact on people management in their subsidiaries in Africa? • How do African cultural practices and values influence work behaviour of indigenous employees in multinational businesses in Africa? 4. Literature Review and Conceptual Framework This section introduces the relationship between literature review and conceptual framework. It should be noted that the main input for constructing the framework is the literature reviewed. The importance of any study is demonstrated through the linkages made between research questions and larger theoretical concepts, demonstrating how the particulars of the study serve to illuminate larger issues and, therefore, portraying its significance (Rocco & Plakhotnik, 2009). The literature review was based on the research questions in order to demonstrate a need for the research. This need, according to Rocco & Plakhotnik (2009), is articulated in the problem statement that uses the literature to support, and assertions to make the case that the purpose of the paper is important. The literature following the purpose is used to build a foundation for the important ideas in the problem statement and purpose. Boote & Beile (2005) strongly believe that using literature review to connect the problem, purpose, and discussion sections is a precondition for doing substantive, thorough, sophisticated research. This reveals that the purpose of the literature review “is to determine if a topic is researchable, to report the results of closely related studies, and to establish the importance of the current study in relationship to previous studies” (Rocco & Plakhotnik, 2009, p.125). Existing literature helped the researcher acquaint himself with the available body of knowledge in the area of interest (Kumar, 2005) and seek to clarify the relationship between the research topic and previous work
  3. 3. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 32 conducted on talent development and the management of cross-border businesses. From the literature review, the theories or issues in which the study was embedded were exploited. These included all the theories and themes that had been put forward to explain the various areas of the research topic. Out of these themes those that related to the specific research problem were selected, portraying why the research was important and where it did fit relative to what other researchers had done in the field (Silverman, 2006). That was the basis for the construction of the conceptual framework, which is a less-developed form of a theory that consists of statements that link abstract concepts to empirical data (Rudestam & Newton, 2007). The set of broad ideas and principles that emerged from the literature reviewed provided overview of broad themes in the literature. Termed as integrative literature, Torraco (2005) adds that it reviews, critiques, and synthesises representative literature in a topic in an integrated way such that new frameworks and perceptions on the topic are generated. Conceptual framework therefore becomes the heart of the study. It has the potential usefulness as a tool to scaffold the research and also help make meaning of subsequent findings (Smith, 2004). The importance of the framework can therefore not be overemphasised as it informs the rest of the research. 4.1. Literature Reviewed Literature was reviewed based on the four research questions (one main and three subsidiary), which helped develop a good understanding and insight into relevant previous research and the trends that have emerged (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2007). The main question explored any existing talent development model and/or any moves to manage talent of nationals in Western subsidiaries. The first of the secondary questions explored the overall action policy called the structural adjustment programme (SAP) focusing on privatisation; the next secondary question reviewed literature on MNCs HRM policies and practices as they manage subsidiaries in Africa with particular reference to Ghana; while the third looked at the Ghanaian socio-cultural influences especially those that influence HRM. To provide clearer links from the literature to the research objectives and questions, and provide reference point for discussion, data analysis and findings, the main themes derived from the literature were considered. Although many themes emerged from review of the main and the three subsidiary research questions, only the major ones were considered for building the conceptual framework. It should be noted that literature reviewed on the four research questions (over 40,000 words) in the original research cannot be presented here. However, the major themes derived from the literature (presented in the original research but not in this paper) are further discussed below to construct the framework. 4.1.1 Subsidiary Research Question 1 The literature reviewed on the first subsidiary research question produced interesting themes. Firstly, the SAP has been very effective tool that has helped integrate Africa into the global economy through attraction of foreign direct investments (FDIs) and opening up markets for the continent’s predominantly primary exports, because African nations lacked the capital to invest and adequate managerial and technical skills (Kuditshini, 2008) to effectively exploit their resources to fuel the necessary growth. It also emerged that SAP, through its privatisation policy, breads Western ‘subsidiarity’ of Third World companies as they become subsidiaries of large Western corporations. This ‘subsidiarity’ is a strong (global) colonisation machinery that deepens the crises of dependency of Third World companies and natural resources on Western globalising corporations offering Africans less control over their own assets (Shima, 2004). The SAP policies therefore appear to benefit Western Corporations and their governments (Osabu-Kle, 2000), thus reverting most gains made by African nations during the post-independent period to the former colonial masters (Geo-Jaja & Mangum, 2001). It also came up that the colonial masters of the African states are rebuilding their colonies in different forms. This is depriving Africa from the gradual transformation required to build their institutions and capacities necessary to expand economic growth (Stein, 2001) after a long period of colonial exploitation (Beraho, 2007). For instance, privatisation has resulted in redundancies, creating ‘reserve armies’ of employees. These experienced former employees are then offered casual jobs with far lower wages. However, privatisation of state owned enterprises (SOEs), especially in the gold mining industry has resulted in tremendous increases in gold production and foreign exchange earnings due to injection of capital, technology and managerial skills. Industry is however dominated by Western MNCs in terms of control of mineral deposits and percentage of expatriate managerial staff.
  4. 4. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 33 4.1.2 Subsidiary Research Question 2 It emerged from the review that MNCs operating in Africa confront one central problem; a dilemma of the parent company having to align the policies and practices globally, and at the same time trying to adhere to the HRM practices of the host countries which are informed by cultural beliefs and practices. The situation involves two opposing values which, deciding on one without the other creates a disadvantage but both cannot be chosen together (Seet, 2007). In attempting to resolve the dilemma, MNCs appear to adapt HRM of their national origins in the trade-off between headquarters HRM and host country cultural practices. This move by MNCs breeds domination of Western HRM practices in cross-border businesses in Africa. This is proved by the findings of Schuerkens (2003) that the character of internationalisation of the labour system and the acceptance of Western model by Ghana and Ivory Coast reveal particular interlinkage – Western interventions and African societies had to adapt a model imposed by actors coming from very different social systems. This dependency of HRM practices on Western model ignores cultural beliefs and social structures of the countries in which the subsidiaries are embedded (Myloni, Harzing, & Mirza, 2004). These cross-border transfers of the HRM practices are not without problems if the local cultural practices are ignored because, according to Schuerkens (2003), modernisation that values development in direction of the Western model without considering particular cultural elements of the host society creates domination by, and dependency on Western corporations. MNCs therefore have to be mindful of cultural diversity instead of over-dependence on home country culture and HRM practices. 4.1.3 Subsidiary Research Question 3 It became evident that there has been growing literature on African HRM, which was not the case some 20 years ago (Adeleye, 2011) which was mostly due to the lack of interest by Western researchers in Africa and extensive management research facilities and capabilities in Western universities (Tayab, 2005). The growing literature on various aspects of HRM in African ranges from general coverage such as impact of culture on HRM in Africa to a more narrower scope such as a specific HR practice in a specific industry in a given African country as in the work of Ogunrinola (2011). It also emerged that culture is an important factor in the development and application of HRM models (Budhwar & Debrah, 2005). There is evidence of studies that highlight the various ways that organisations around the world handle HRM, and these prove that culture is an important influence on many facets of organisational behaviour (Adeleye, 2011; Tongo, 2011). There has however been emerging stream of analysis that applies cultural and social factors as key to understanding HRM in Africa. It is therefore important to understand the social organisations of the wider African community and how these address the key issues in employment relationships (Jackson, 2002). This means the context under which management practices operate must take critical consideration of the cultural practices and value orientations of Africans in formal Western organisations. It is therefore clearly evident that it is impossible to maintain a parochial view of cultural practices and social values while doing business across cultures. For the African workers to be fully connected to the business and mobilise fully their strength and potential, there is the need for a shift from the dominant Western HRM to a model that accounts for the culture of the African employee. Drawing lessons from Budhwar & Debrah (2005), the best management practices and techniques evolved in the context of Western cultural values cannot be adapted in Africa due to the contradictions that manifest in African management vis-à-vis Western organisational forms. There is therefore the need for ‘best-fit’ of the two cultures to effectively manage multinational firms in foreign countries. 4.1.4 Main Research Question The literature revealed that many organisations are becoming aware of the challenge presented by talent shortage in the global business economy (Busine & Watt, 2005). As the business world is facing the threat of ageing population, coupled with the skills gap in business and the complex skills required to meet the high and swift technological changes, companies need to create the culture of an employer of choice by developing talented individuals to drive business goals. Most organisations however find it difficult to define talent and how to identify the talented. These do not only make the talent management exercise difficult, but also make some organisations disinterested in the exercise because how can talent be effectively managed if it is difficult to determine what talent is? (Uren, 2007). Even organisations that try to manage their talent have conflicting perceptions about talent and what make up
  5. 5. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 34 individual talents. Another major theme is that talent development should be industry, or at best, company specific (Cunningham 2007) to develop competencies that are less important to other companies so that talent identified and developed could be retained and owned to benefit the company. This has the potential of curbing poaching of talents, a necessary tool for specific companies to develop their specific skills in the face of the global talent crises. Talent development should therefore be part of the priorities of businesses if they are to reduce labour cost, retain their talents and compete globally (McCauley & Wakefield, 2006) in the world of dwindling talent pool. Businesses that have talent development policies and budget still face the question of who should be the focus of the talent management process – should the focus be on selected few; specific (critical) roles; or all employees? Aside the decision of ‘who should be the focus’, the task of evaluating employees for development (the essence of talent development), is also punctured by the emotive decision of letting people know that they have been identified and considered for talent programme versus letting others know they have not been selected. Also, there should be a new approach to talent development to optimise returns on investments in talent including effective retention strategies, balance of employer-employee interests and cost recovery methods. 4.2 The Conceptual Framework From the literature summarised the following five domains were revealed which were related to talent development in the Ghanaian gold mining industry. • Western MNCs • Western HRM practices • Ghanaian cultural practices • Best-fit HRM practices • Talent development model At this point these are just independent, unrelated variables identified. How they are related (or unrelated) in relation to the research problem at this point; and from this point forward to inform the rest of the research are the considerations for constructing the framework, which is presented in Figure 1. Text explaining how the framework was build should give readers clue to how these five elements are related. 4.2.1 Western MNCs World Bank/IMF privatisation policy as part of the structural adjustment programme (SAP) has opened the way for Western multinationals through FDIs. Western MNCs now dominate the gold mining industry – Western ‘subsidiarity’ of industry (Eshun and Jellicoe, 2011). This is the current situation with regard to ownership of individual companies in gold mining industry (Box a). 4.2.2 Western HRM practices Domination of Western multinationals in the gold mining industry reflects in domination of Western values and ideas in the HRM practices in industry. There is importation of various countries of origin HRM models in managing (Ghanaian) employees (Box b). Box (a) therefore leads to Box (b) as the down pointing arrow shows. 4.2.3 Ghanaian cultural practices Domination of Western HRM models produces a neglect of the Ghanaian cultural values and practices (Box c). This also indicates that Box (a) leads to Box (c). As noted by Ngo et al. (1998) the two major influences on HRM practices of MNCs are local contextual factors and firm’s home country culture. However, the former is neglected although these are needed to understand behaviours of the Ghanaian managers for their effective talent development. Domination of Western HRM practices and the neglect of Ghanaian culture create tension as MNCs implement their HRM practices in cross-border businesses in Ghana as indicated by the bolt icon between Boxes (b) and (c). This is because while MNCs try to respond effectively to the HRM demands of their parent companies in line with their global HRM strategies, they are also faced with demands presented by the cultural practices and social institutions of Ghana in which the subsidiaries are embedded (Evans, Pucik & Barsoux 2002; Brock & Siscovick, 2007). 4.2.4 Best-fit HRM practices
  6. 6. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 35 Tension created by the domination of Western HRM practices and neglect of the local contextual factors could be defused through the development of best-fit HRM practices (Box d). In this way, while MNCs adhere to home country HRM policies in line with their global strategies, such policies could be implemented taking cognisance of Ghanaian local contextual factors (Kamoche, 1996). The author speculated that without striking a trade-off between these two extremes (defusing the tension), the ground could not be prepared for effective talent development programme. 4.2.5 Talent development model Diffusion of the tension (Box d) paves way for building of workable talent development model to develop national managers (the primary research objective) the way that their skills will be beneficial to industry. This requires implementing the talent management programme in industry taking into account Ghanaian cultural practices and social values (Box e). 5. Methodologies Methodologies are about how research does or should proceed, thus it is a body of approaches and methods, rules and postulates employed by researchers (Porsanger, 2004). From the literature and resultant conceptual framework, the author explored and employed two methodologies – indigenous and post-colonial. 5.1 Indigenous Methodology Indigenous methodology is summarised as research by and for indigenous peoples and using techniques and methods drawn from the traditions of those people. This has the potential of producing assessment of the problem and production of solutions suitable to the people rather than non-indigenous people framing indigenous worldviews from a distance. This is because indigenous methodology has been proved to situate and reflect on the research at a location most relevant to indigenous experience (Evans et al., 2009). Use of indigenous methodology departs from Smith’s (1999) observation that the vintage point of view of the colonised is that the term “research” is inextricably linked to the West. To justify the appropriateness of its application and also help readers follow how it is determination (based on the framework), the methodology is explained. A clear distinction is made of ‘indigenous’ in the sense of insider knowledge that fits into a local community and “this embraces a concept of in-group in relationship to wider communities or out-group” (Jackson, Amaeshi & Yavuz, 2008, p.44). ‘Indigenous’ used in this paper therefore means (group of) people in their local community in relationship to other foreign groups of people in the community. Example is drawn from Jackson, Amaeshi & Yavuz (2008) who investigating African management in Kenya paint clearer picture of distinguishing feature of indigenous people. They regard the Kenyan Africans (Kikuyu) as indigenous (in-group) in relation to Kenyan Asians and Kenyan British (the out-groups). This corroborates two other features of indigenous people. One such feature is that indigenous people are people with social or cultural identity distinct from the dominant society that renders them vulnerable for being disadvantaged in the process of development (Marais & Marais, 2008), and the second is the conclusion by Fenelon & Hall (2008) that because the indigenous people were the first to be in the community – a key aspect of indigeneity – they are the hosts. In the context of this paper therefore, the national managers are regarded as indigenous or in-group in relationship to the many Western expatriates in their MNC subsidiaries in Ghana who dominate management roles and whose approach to managerial development eclipses local management thinking. Also, the national managers have Ghanaian social and cultural identities that distinguish them from the expatriates in industry (the out-group), while the national managers also host the expatriates. Considering the three features of indigeneity, which were all present in the context of the author’s original research, the paper had indigenous setting. Applying local (indigenous) cultural practices and learning method in tackling problem involving both in-group (affected by the problem) and out-groups (contributors to the problem) in the local community was therefore an indigenous approach. As the local community has been dominated by Western management development approaches, application of indigenous methodology offered alternative to addressing development issues of indigenous managers within the wider framework of self-determination and social justice in order to create managers that respond to indigenous priorities and problems. By so doing, the paper succeeded in pushing the analysis beyond the boundaries of Western management thinking, and to design alternative ways of looking at cross-cultural management development (Jackson & Aycan, 2006). That therefore permitted the author to explore more fully the nature and efficacy of managerial talent development practices within an increasing multicultural industry, the goal of which was to show how a particular practice works in a
  7. 7. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 36 given context (Smith, 2001). The use of indigenous methodology thus described context-sensitive research. 5.2 Post-colonial Methodology The introduction and implementation of the SAP policies introduced by the World Bank/IMF and their conditionalities are regarded and accepted as a new form of colonialism in decolonised states (Yew, 2002). As revealed by the literature reviewed and the conceptual framework built, the policies instead of helping African nations (including Ghana) out of their precarious economic situations rather turns out to be policies of strong Western nations in seeking economic hegemony over the independent nations – a new form of colonisation for instance, by the ownership and management of Ghanaian gold mining companies. Because it was with great reluctance that the colonial masters granted independence to their erstwhile colonies from where they had for generations held total control that had enabled them exploit human and material resources (Salisu, 2010), the new form seems very relevant. The research therefore employed post-colonial methodology to tackle the neo-colonial influence in industry though the processes of decolonising the national managers by breaking free from the Western research approaches which are in most cases very different from the indigenous ones, and are mostly suited for foreign knowledge instead of indigenous ways of thinking. Also, defamiliarising the effect that continues to shape the lives and behaviours of the people because decolonising perspectives formed by outsiders about indigenous people without defamiliarising the effects is just to re-emphasise the neo-colonial concept. It is evident that post-colonial methodology complements indigenous methodology. Indigenous methodology offers alternative to address social issues of indigenous people by creating research that relates to indigenous priorities and solution to talent problem of indigenous people who have undergone decolonisation process but still under (neo) colonisation influence. Post-colonial methodology, on its part, tackle the neo-colonial influence in industry to decolonise indigenous people from Western hegemony and research approaches, and also attempts to de-familiarise the effects of colonisation that continue to shape the lives and behaviour of indigenous people. 6. Interviewing as Method of Collecting Primary Data There are two major approaches to gathering information about a situation, problem or phenomenon. Sometimes information required is already available and only needs to be extracted. On the other hand, information required must be collected the first time. Based on these two broad approaches to data gathering, data are categorised as primary or secondary. Primary data suits the indigenous methodology as the indigenous Ghanaian would not keep secondary data but primary data, which also corroborates the method of collecting it. Interview took the form of person-to-person interaction between the researcher and the national managers identified to provide information required for analysis to answer a research questions. Applying this method helped to address cultural insensitivity by using method of data collection that was in line with traditional cultures as the Ghanaian is more willing to provide information through oral narration, traditional way of imparting and sharing knowledge than using any other methods, which could have departed from indigenous approach, especially which involves reading and/or writing. 7. Critical Discourse Analysis as Data Analytical Technique Norman Fairclough’s critical discuss analysis (see Fairclough, 2001) is problem identification and problem solving tool as it combines relational and dialectical elements (negative critique to diagnose a problem) and positive critique to identify unrealised possibilities of tackling the problem. Silverman (2006) describes discourse analysis as a heterogeneous range of social science research based on analysis of interviews and text as well as recorded talk. Fairclough & Holes (1995) consider critical discourse analysis (CDA) as interdisciplinary approach to the study of discourse that views language as a form of social practice and dwells on the way social and political domination are reproduced by text and talk (Farrelly, 2010). This means CDA uses language for analysis aimed at providing social criticism and solution based on linguistic evidence (Liasidou, 2008) as provided by the national managers through interviewing. CDA was therefore appropriate as it uses interview text provided by indigenous people to search for unexplored alternatives to decolonise the national manager from Western dominant HRM practices to pave way for their talent development. Given the problem, social actors involved, the research goal, and the type of data (interview text), CDA was appropriate tool for the analysis.
  8. 8. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 37 8. Conclusion As seen from the construction and application of the conceptual framework, it is not an independent element in a research. It draws its construction from the research problem, the research objectives and questions, and the literature review. The framework when built, also informs other parts of the study including the methodology, data collection technique, data analysis methods; and even the findings as reference point to how they relate to similar studies (not considered in this paper). Conceptual framework therefore becomes a focal point towards which the first part of the research migrates; and which also determines how the rest of the research should proceed. To ascertain how strongly these research instruments relate and their appropriateness to the study and how together they contribute towards achieving the research aim, relationship analysis is performed. These relationships are presented in Table 1. The comparative analysis informs readers about the efficacy of a well constructed conceptual framework as it informed the choice of appropriate methodologies; data collection methods; and data analysis techniques that combine towards achieving the research aim. Though the primary aim of this article is to provide understanding of the construction and application of conceptual framework, it has also built some level of understanding of other elements of the research design, especially those required after the framework is built – methodology; data collection method; and data analysis method. How they are determined (informed by the framework) and how they relate as evidence of their appropriateness towards achieving the research aim have also been highlighted. References Adeleye, I. (2011) Theorising human resource management in Africa: Beyond cultural relativism. African Journal of Business Management, 5(6), pp.2028-2039 Agbesinyale, P. (2008) Rethinking mining investment and sustainable development in Ghana. In: Proceedings of the Third World Network in Africa Conference on Mining, Development and Social Conflicts in Africa, 3-6 November, Cape Coast, IDS, pp.191-211 Akabzaa T. & Darimani, A. (2001) Impact of mining sector investment in Ghana: A study of the Tarkwa Mining Region (A Draft Report). Paper Prepared for Sapri, 20 January 2001 Amankwah-Amoah, J. & Debrah, Y.A. (2011a) Competing for scarce talent in a liberalised environment: Evidence from the aviation industry in Africa. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(17), pp.3565-3581 Amos, G.J. (2004) Unlocking the wealth of nations FDI to the rescue? A case study of the gold mining industry in Ghana. Goteborg Graduate Business School, Winter 2004 Ayine, D. (2001) The human rights dimensions to corporate mining in Ghana: The case of Tarkwa District. In: Proceedings of the Third World Africa Conference on Mining, Development and Social Conflicts in Africa, 15-18 November, Accra, TWN-Af, pp.85-101 Beraho, E.K. (2007) Colonial history and its effects on sub-Saharan economic development. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 14(3), pp.254-266 Boote, D.N. & Beile, P. (2005) Scholars before researchers: On the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Educational Researcher, 34(6), pp.3-15 Brewster, C., Dowling, P.J., Carey, L., Grobler, P., Holland, P. & Warnich, S. (2003) Contemporary issues in human resources management: Gaining a competitive advantage. Oxford, Oxford University Press Brock, D.M. & Siscovick, I.C. (2007) Global integration and local responsiveness in multinational subsidiaries: Some strategy, structure, and human resource contingencies. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 45(3), pp.353-373 Budhwar, P.S. & Debrah, Y.A. (2005) International HRM in developing countries. In: Scullion, H. & Linehan, M. eds. International Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.259-278 Busine, M. & Watt, B. (2005) Succession management: Trends and current picture. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 43(2), pp.225-237 Cunningham, I. (2007) Talent management: Making it real. Development and Learning in Organisations, 21(2), pp.4-6 Eshun, P.A. & Jellicoe, S.A. (2011) The impact of foreign direct investment on the development of the Ghanaian
  9. 9. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 38 mineral industry. Asian Journal of Business and Management Sciences, 1(1), pp.148-167 Evans, M., Hole, R., Berg, L.D., Huchinson, P. & Sookraj, D. (2009) Common insights, differing methodologies: Towards a fusion of indigenous methodologies, participatory action research, and white studies in the urban aboriginal research agenda. Qualitative Enquiry, 15(5), pp.893-910 Evans, P., Pucik, V., & Barsoux, J.L. (2002) The Global Challenge: International Human Resource Management. New York, The McGraw-Hill Companies Fairclough, N. (2001) Critical discourse analysis as a method in social scientific research. In: Wodak, R. & Meyer, M. eds. Methods of critical discourse analysis, pp.121-136, London, Sage Fairclough, N. & Holes, C. (1995) Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. London, Longman Group Ltd Farrelly, M. (2010) Critical discourse analysis in political studies: An illustrative analysis of the ‘empowerment’ agenda. Politics, 30(2), pp.98-104 Fenelon, J.V. & Hall, T.D. (2008) Revitalization and indigenous resistance to globalization and neoliberalism. American Behavioural Scientist, 51(12), pp.1867-1901 Geo-Jaja, M. & Mangum, G. (2001) Structural adjustment as an inadvertent enemy of human development in Africa. Journal of Black Studies, 32(1), pp.30-49 Ismi, A. (2004) Impoverishing a continent: A World Bank and the IMF in Africa. Paper Commissioned by the Halifax Initiative Coalition, July 2004, Available from: <http:www.halifaxinitiative.org/updir/impoverishingacontinent> [Accessed June 19th , 2008] Jackson, T. (2002) Reframing human resource management in Africa: A cross-cultural perspective. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 13(7), pp.998-1018 Jackson, T. & Aycan, Z. (2006) Editorial: From cultural values to cross cultural interfaces. Cross Cultural Management, 6(1), pp.5-13 Jackson, T., Amaeshi, K. & Yavuz, S. (2008) Untangling African indigenous management: Multiple influences on the success of SMEs in Kenya. Journal of World Business, 43(4), pp.400-416 Kamoche, K. (1996) The integration-differentiation puzzle: A resource-capacity perspective in international human resource management. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 7(1), 230-244 Kuditshini, J.T. (2008) Global governance and local governance in the Congo: The role of IMF, World Bank, the multinationals and the political elites. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 74(2), pp.195-216 Kumar, R. (2005) Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. 2nd ed., London, SAGE Publications Liasidou, A. (2008) Critical discourse analysis and inclusive education policies: The power to exclude. Journal of Education Policy, 23(5), pp.483-500 Mainsah, E. & Ikezi, E. (2004) Is Ghana an attractive proposition for IT services and business process outsourcing? Chazen Web Journal of International Business, Spring 2004 Marais, L. & Marais, L.C. (2008) Walking between worlds: An exploration of the interface between indigenous and first-world industrialized culture. International Social Work, 50(6), pp.809-820 McCauley, C. & Wakefield, M. (2006) Talent management in the 21st century: Help your company find, develop, and keep its strongest workers. Journal for Quality & Participation, 29(4), pp.4-7 McGregor, S. (2005) Structural adjustment programmes and human well-being. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 29(3), pp.170-180 Myloni, B., Harzing, A.K., & Mirza, H. (2004) Host country specific factors and the transfer of human resource management practices in MNCs. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(6), pp.518-534 Ngo, H., Turban, D., Lau, C., & Lui, S. (1998) Human resource practices and firm performance of multinational corporations: Influences of country origin. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 9(4), pp.633-651 Ogunrinola, I.O. (2011) Informal self-employment and poverty alleviation: Empirical evidence from motorcycle taxi riders in Nigeria. International Journal of Economic and Finance, 3(2), pp.176-185
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  11. 11. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.13, 2013 40 (e) (d) (b) (c) (a) Figure 1: Conceptual Framework Table 1: Relationships: methodologies, data collection and analysis methods Elements Justification / Relationships Indigenous methodology and post-colonial methodology Indigenous methodology helped situate the research in the indigenous community to investigate the talent problem of the indigenous managers who are influenced by colonial ideologies. Post-colonial methodology highlights the decolonisation process by attempting to break indigenous people free from Western research approaches which are mostly suited for foreign knowledge instead of indigenous ways of thinking. The two methodologies therefore complement each other. Interviewing and the two methodologies Interviewing as data collection method reflects indigenous way (verbally) of providing data about indigenous problem enacted in colonial context. Interviewing is therefore appropriate data collection method for research conducted using indigenous and post-colonial methodologies. Interviewing and critical discourse analysis CDA uses (transcribed) language text for analysis of discursive events as instances of sociocultural practice produced from the text, which is created through interviewing. The methodologies and critical discourse analysis Indigenous and post-colonial methodologies corroborate CDA. CDA’s emancipatory power provides techniques that unravel the hegemonic arguments of power and domination for solution of talent development problem of indigenous people through the use of local cultural practices and values (indigenous methodology). Post-colonial methodology complements this to decolonise indigenous people from colonial ideologies. Methodologies, interviewing, critical discourse analysis and aim of research CDA as analytical tool provides a general framework for problem-oriented social research using language text produced through interviewing by indigenous people for analysis using CDA, aimed at providing social criticism and solution of indigenous problem to decolonise indigenous people from dominant Western research approaches. Therefore, interviewing, the twin-methodology and CDA combine to unveil and tackle the talent problem, and reach for unidentified possibilities for social change in the context of talent development of the Ghanaian manager in the gold mining industry, which is the aim of the research. Talent Management Model Informed by Ghanaian cultural values and practices (to implement MNCs talent development policies) Best-fit HRM Explore best-fit practices for effective people management in industry Ghanaian Culture Cultural values and practices alienated Western HRM Informed by Western values and ideas Western MNCs Dominate industry due to privatisation policy
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